The Ubiquity of the Technique of Goal Setting in Theories of and Approaches to Employee Motivation

Locke, Edwin A.
July 1978
Academy of Management Review;Jul1978, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p594
Academic Journal
Goal setting is recognized, explicitly or implicity, by virtually every major theory of work motivation. It was recognized explicitly by advocates of Scientific Management and of Management of Objectives. Ignored in early versions of Human Relations and expectancy (VIE) theory, it now is more openly acknowledged. Cognitive Growth and Organizational Behavior Modification deny the significance of goal setting in theory, but not when they are put into practice. The ubiquity of goal setting in these theories stem from the general recognition that rational human action is goal directed.


Related Articles

  • Expectancy, Valence, and Motivational Force Functions in Goal-Setting Research: An Empirical Test. Tubbs, Mark E.; Boehne, Donna M.; Dahl, James G. // Journal of Applied Psychology;Jun93, Vol. 78 Issue 3, p361 

    Expectancy-valence (EV) theory has often been used as a model for understanding goal setting. The authors attempt to further distinguish within-person from across-persons uses of EV theory concepts in the goal-setting literature and present a within-person empirical test. The key element of the...

  • A MODEL OF THE DIRECT DETERMINANTS OF PERFORMANCE OUTCOMES. Carlson, Kevin D. // Academy of Management Proceedings & Membership Directory;2000, pF1 

    Performance is the central construct in industrial and organizational psychology, yet our conceptual understanding of individual performance as indicated by current performance models is quite limited. Many of these models of individual performance (a) force us to define performance as either...

  • Pygmalion, Goal Setting, and Expectancy: Compatible Ways to Boost Productivity. Eden, Dov // Academy of Management Review;Oct88, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p639 

    The Pygmalion, goal-setting, and need-for-achievement approaches use effort-to-performance expectancy in order to explain work motivation. The motivation to expend effort is distinguished from the motivation to choose a task. Expectancy is conceptualized both as a stable trait and as a changing...

  • WORK MOTIVATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR. LĂZĂROIU, GEORGE // Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice;2015, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p66 

    Applying new conceptual and methodological approaches, this study advances to the next level research on Vroom's expectancy theory, Locke and Latham's goal-setting theory of motivation, Hackman and Oldham's job characteristics model, McClelland's achievement motivation theory, and Herzberg's...

  • Clarity: A Key Driver of Business Success. Walsh, Thomas // Business Journal (Central New York);3/19/2010, Vol. 24 Issue 12, p5 

    The author discusses the importance of clarity in business success. He states that most businesses lack clarity which means having a clear vision, well-defined goals and established action plans. He notes that success will never be achieved if team members are not focused on the same goal and...

  • Is your staff focused on where your firm needs to go?. McClanahan, C. J. // Indianapolis Business Journal;6/27/2005, Vol. 26 Issue 16, p37A 

    Presents guidelines for small business enterprises in setting clear and meaningful expectations and goals that help employees know where the firm needs to go. Individual positional contract with each employee; Detailed discussion of job duties; Summary of how their position helps achieve...

  • Setting objectives: The road map to organizational success. Walsh, Thomas // Business Journal (Central New York);12/21/2007, Vol. 21 Issue 51, p10 

    The article focuses on the significance of objectives to a company. According to the author, without specific objectives and corresponding metrics, organizations and their employees cannot have the sharp focus that high-performance companies need. Objectives must be focused on results,...

  • Team Management by Objectives: Enhancing Developing Teams' Performance. Fulk, H. Kevin; Bell, Reginald L.; Bodie, Nancy // Journal of Management Policy & Practice;2011, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p17 

    The objective of this investigation was to determine if Drucker's management by objectives (or MBO) could be merged with Tuckman and Jensen's stages of group development. We achieved our objective by examining relevant literature and found that these theories are somewhat dated, but deserve...

  • Goal Tending. Arzt, Robert A. // Advisor Today;Jan2006, Vol. 101 Issue 1, p66 

    The article discusses some concepts that should be considered for achieving goals in sales profession. One should not have too many goals. This makes confusion and motivational loss. One should select a goal that is highly motivational. Goals should always be included in the to-do list. One...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics